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story.lead_photo.caption This Sept. 27, 2018 photo shows toasted pumpkin seeds in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? In the same vein, I propose that when fall gives us pumpkins, we should make toasted pumpkin seeds. We have to scoop them out anyway when we cook the squash, so why not turn them into something delicious instead of tossing them into the garbage?

I'll admit that separating the seeds from the vegetable's stringy membrane can be messy. The seeds are sticky, the membrane in which they are embedded is sticky, and your hands will get sticky as you do the work. The solution? Pull the seeds out of the pumpkin's cavity, put them in a large bowl of water, then swish them around. The strands of membrane are much easier to pull off in water. Remove any of the seeds' residual stickiness by rinsing them once or twice. Now they're good to go.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

(Plain or Spicy)

Kosher salt

1 cup fresh pumpkin or winter squash seeds, cleaned

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Creole spice seasoning (such as Zatarains) or more to taste, optional

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

In a pot of boiling salted water, boil the seeds for 10 minutes. Drain well. On a rimmed sheet pan lined with aluminum foil, spread out the seeds so they don't overlap. Bake them on the middle shelf of the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and stir well. Bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the seeds appear white.

Remove the seeds from the oven, drizzle with the oil and bake 50 minutes, stirring several times. Sprinkle the seeds with salt or Creole spice seasoning while still hot. Let cool completely (they will continue to crisp as they cool) before using. If you don't use them right away, store them in an airtight container.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (1/4 cup) contains approximately 91 calories, 3 g protein, 4 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, sodium varies and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: ½

Food on 10/31/2018

Print Headline: Pumpkin seeds make tasty snack

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